I had my last real interval workout (10x800s) yesterday morning and all the confidence that I had gained from last week , had left me. It's easy when you're in full-on training mode. The race is off in the distant future, you can feel good about your goal, cause you're actively working towards it. Until you aren't anymore. Until you've done the work and now it's time to test yourself. This shit's getting real now, folks.
I knew that yesterday's workout wasn't that big of a deal. My body is tired and whether I made my splits or not was not going to have an impact on my race next weekend. I knew that, logically. But emotionally, I couldn't help but think about... if you can do 10 of these, you're ready . I showed up for the workout with knots in my stomach and doubts filling my head.
The first 5, my head was just not in the game. My legs felt fine, but I just couldn't relax or shut my brain off. Finally, around the 5th or 6th interval I had a little talk with myself...I was just like, DUDE, chillax. You've been doing these for weeks. It is not that big of a deal. Stop being such a baby and just run. And then of course, by the time I had my head under control, my legs decided to revolt. But, whatever, I can handle tired legs... I can't handle a jacked up head.
When we finished the workout and ran our cool down I felt this huge wave of disappointment. I felt defeated, even though I pretty much nailed the workout (despite all my craziness). WTF? As the morning went on, I couldn't shake it. I was feeling all blue and sulky.
So, I fired off an email to my coach with the subject heading "Therapy Sesh." Now, up until this point, she's only been getting texts and emails from me saying things like... "Killed my race pace run today! Feeling pretty awesome these days."* But yesterday, there was only bitching and moaning and not even cool, funny bitching and moaning, but sad, sappy, pathetic bitching and moaning.
To which she promptly responded with...
Heh heh heh. Taper weeks are the best. THE BEST.
...(Lots of good coach-y and friend-y stuff in here)...
Anyway, don't freak yourself out. Trust your training.
So, that made me feel better and I snuck out for a yoga class at lunch which cleared my head even more and by yesterday afternoon, I was officially over myself. It's just RUNNING for pete's sake! How melodramatic and ridiculous can I possibly be? (Sadly, I already know the answer to that).
Having some perspective now, I think I know what part of the problem is/was. I've never really and truly raced a marathon before. Sure, I've lined up at a marathon with a goal in mind and one that I had trained for, but never like this. I've usually just been delusional with my goals and so when I don't meet them, it was like... Awwww shucks! Shoulda trained harder. Next time!
But this time is different. This time I really, truly can meet my goal. It is possible. And it's not going to be a cakewalk, it's going to be work. Real work. But, it's attainable. I've trained hard and I can do it. And that's what scares me the most...
* No joke, you guys. that is word-for-sickening-word a text that I sent to her. How gross is that?